Group hopes to put Mayor Cianci portrait in City Hall - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Group hopes to put Mayor Cianci portrait in City Hall

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by ABC6 News Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis 

mcurtis@abc6.com

City Hall isn't just the seat of government it's a mini–art museum, with portraits of just about every providence mayor.

Now friends of Buddy Cianci want to commission a portrait of him, too, even though critics point to Cianci's court convictions that twice forced him from office.

"They can't erase the fact that I was there. And they can't erase the fact that when I was there, there was a lot of positive things that happened," said former Mayor Buddy Cianci.

There is a pastel of Cianci on the third floor of City Hall.

His friends are holding a birthday fundraiser, to try to replace it with a commissioned oil painting.

"All that money is from private funds. It's not from city coffers at all," said Cianci.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Providence has the largest collection of Mayoral portraits of any city in America. But still, the last three mayors Taveras Cicilline and Cianci are all missing."

With the city hitting tough financial times, the current mayor says it would be wrong to spend tax dollars on any portrait, but he has no objection to a private group honoring Cianci.

Mayor Angel Taveras, (D-Providence) said, "He's obviously a pretty complicated figure, and has had his ups and downs. But this is going to be private dollars being done, people to donate that, and we need to preserve our history."

Cianci - who is being treated for cancer - has a sense of humor about the portrait issue, knowing he looked much different as Mayor.

"My big question is do I wear a toupee or not, because in my office years I had a toupee. I don't wear it any more. I think I look better with out it," said Cianci.

Toupee or not, the Cianci portrait fundraiser will be held on his birthday, April 30th.

 

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